NRL star Mitchell avoids conviction

·2-min read

South Sydney NRL star Latrell Mitchell has been spared a criminal conviction for a gun offence during a camping weekend in mid-north NSW amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mitchell, 23, who pleaded guilty in August to giving a firearm to an unauthorised person, was sentenced to a conditional release order on Monday in Taree Local Court.

Under the order he must not commit any offence for the next 12 months and he has to return to court if called to do so at any time during that period.

NSW Police fined Mitchell and fellow NRL player Josh Addo-Carr $1000 in April for social-distancing breaches after the camp on Mitchell's Taree farm.

The pair and 10 other men convened on the farm, breaching NSW gathering restrictions at the time.

Melbourne Storm and NSW Origin winger Addo-Carr was also seen in online videos shooting a gun.

He was charged with using an unauthorised firearm and Mitchell was charged with providing it.

After the April camping trip, 25-year-old Addo-Carr claimed he took family to Mitchell's farm to "put smiles on their faces" after they had been going through a tough time.

But the NRL fined Addo-Carr and Mitchell $20,000 each for bringing the game into disrepute, with additional $30,000 fines and one-game bans suspended for one year.

Acting NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said at the time that the initial punishments were only for breaking social distancing rules, not for the firearms offences.

Addo-Carr, who has also pleaded guilty to his firearms offence, was due to have been sentenced on October 20.

That has been held over to March as he has been in the NRL's coronavirus bubble for the NRL Grand Final and State of Origin series.

Mitchell's hopes of being re-selected for NSW this season were dashed when he ruptured a hamstring tendon in August.